And then he cloned himself. Photo by me
Apparently GL Peiris is saying Mahinda will wait to take his oaths as President. In Sri Lanka the Presidential term is six years, but they can call the election after four. Then they win and serve for another term. However, there seems to be this interpretation that the Prez can bank those extra two years and serve for a total of eight. Which I think is against the Constitution, but what isn’t. That document says the Presidential poll has to be taken not more than two months before the end of the term of office, so by calling a poll the Prez effectively ends his term. Unless, apparently, he doesn’t feel like it.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was re-elected to office following the just concluded Presidential elections, does not need to take oaths immediately as he is the incumbent President and will be sworn in for his second term in due course, Government Minister G. L. Pieris told reporters in Colombo a short while ago. (Daily Mirror, entire story)
However, the Constitution says:
(3) The poll for the election of the President shall be taken not less than one month and not more than two months before the expiration of the term of office of the President in office.
15[(3a) (i) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the preceding provisions of this Chapter, the President may, at any time after the expiration of four years from the commencement of his first term of office, by Proclamation, declare his intention of appealing to the People for a mandate to hold office, by election, for a further term.
(d) The person declared elected as President at an election held under this paragraph shall, if such person –
(i) is the President in office, hold office for a term of six years commencing on such date in the year in which that election is held (being a date after such election) or in the succeeding year, as corresponds to the date on which his first term of office commenced, whichever date is earlier
The only bit of vagueness is here
(4) (Where a poll for the election of a President is taken, the term of office of the person elected as President at such election shall commence on the expiration of the term of office of the President in office
But I think the point is overall clear. The new President gets six more years, not eight. But seeing as the Constitution and law are violated every day, let’s see if he can get away with this.